Dr Safeeya Mohammed
Divali, also known as Deepavali, is a time of celebration and reflection, not just for the soul of a community, but also for the indomitable spirit of women who play a pivotal role in ensuring the traditions of this festival are kept. These momentous traditions commemorate the victory of good over evil. The essence of this message transcends boundaries and resonates with the celebration of light and life itself.
In the heart of this radiant festival, women are the unsung heroines. The significance of women in Divali goes far beyond their roles in the kitchen or the preparation of intricate rangoli designs; it’s about the embodiment of strength, resilience, and the pursuit of empowerment. They are the ones who infuse the festival with meaning, weaving their nurturing touch into every aspect of the celebration.
One cannot ignore the sheer dedication and meticulous planning that goes into the Divali preparations. From cleaning and decorating homes to preparing delectable sweets and savoury dishes, the efforts are a testament to the unwavering commitment of women to preserve traditions. Each dish tells a story, passed down through generations, nurturing not just the body but the spirit too.
A celebration of inner light
The creative expression of women in the form of intricate rangoli designs is a visual symphony that transforms humble doorsteps into pieces of art. These vibrant patterns are a reflection of the profound connection between the microcosm of the home and the universe. They remind us that within the confines of our homes, we hold the power to create beauty and harmony.
Beyond the surface, Divali is a celebration of inner light. It reminds us of our innate strength to overcome adversity and emerge victorious. Women have been, and continue to be, the torchbearers of this message. They stand as pillars of strength, guiding their families through the darkest of times with grace and unwavering love.
The celebration of Divali is not just about the external illumination of oil lamps; it’s about the inner radiance that women nurture within themselves and in those around them. It’s about the empowerment that comes from embracing one’s identity and heritage. It’s about fostering an environment where every woman can shine as brightly as the stars in the night sky.
The illumination of empowered women
As we celebrate Divali, let us take a moment to honour the women who have kindled the light of tradition and empowerment. Their resilience, their wisdom, and their love are the true lights that guide us through life’s intricate patterns. In their hands, Divali becomes the illumination of the empowered woman, the heartbeat of our communities.
As a Muslim daughter of our soil, my upbringing didn’t deny this exposure and integration into my childhood and up to this day, we join with our Hindu friends and family in reverence of the Divali traditions.
The great Muhammad Ali shared, “If we continue to think and live as if we belong to different cultures and religions, with separate missions and goals, we will always be in a self-defeating competition with each other. Once we realise we are all members of humanity, the only competition will be in the spirit of love.”
I wish all our readers Shubh Divali, May the love and lights of the festival illuminate your world and triumph over any darkness around you and your loved ones.
Let the oil lamps glow, let the rangoli dazzle, and let the sweets tempt our taste buds. But, above all, let us recognise and celebrate the women who illuminate our lives, in Divali and every day, with their strength, wisdom, and boundless love. This Divali, let the celebration of light also be a celebration of the radiant women who make it all possible!